SMUDGE

SMUDGE

     In 1995 a feral tomcat wandered onto our backyard and found something to eat and a safe place to sleep. He was your typical, somewhat beat-up, old tomcat and for the next couple of years he thankfully tood the food and shelter we offered. He would occasionally have to defend “his territory” from would-be invaders but otherwise he had the backyard to himself.
     Twice a day he would come up for his meals and enjoy the warm sun or the shelter of the dog house we provided for the inclement weather.
     Then, one day Valerie was in the backyard potting some plants when she looked down and saw our backyard occupant lying on the ground beside her. He was obviously in bad shape, having suffered injuries and infection from a recent battle
     Valerie bundled him up and took him to the vet. They fixed him up and soon sent him home with instructions for us to give him pills to aid in his recovery. How do you give a feral cat pills when you can’t even touch him???
Well, we would grind up the pills and sprinkle the crumbs onto freshly cooked salmon skin and soon he was as good as new.
     Very shortly after that he was my best friend in the world, following me all over the backyard and we became quite close.
     As the weather got cold we would clear the back porch of all of it’s occupants and set up a little house for him, complete with a heating pad to help him through the worst of the cold. Shortly after that he came to live in the house with the rest of the crew and there he stayed until Friday, December 31, 2004 when he died due to liver cancer.
     It always hurts when we lose one of our “kids”. We can only provide the best we can for them and give them a safe and happy home for as long as they will stay with us.
     They are every bit as much our children just as if they were human. 
     He was a good old boy.